Since sweets are a big part of my world, I am always researching different confections. I am fascinated about the origins of the confections that we use on our tables. Today, I’m sharing with you the “sweet origins” of fudge. You may remember our Sweet Journey to Atlantic City last summer, when we sampled several varieties of fudge. The fudge on the boardwalk was to.die.for. and enough to get me interested in the the origins of fudge.
Most believe the first batch was a result of an accidental “fudged” batch of caramels, hence the name “fudge”. The secret to successful fudge is getting the crystals to form at just the right time so that the mixture becomes grainy. If the crystals don’t form at the right time, then the mixture turns into a syrup called caramel.
The first documentation of fudge is from 1886, when a Vassar student named Emelyn Battersby Hartridge heard that her friend’s cousin was selling fudge for .40 cents a pound. Emelyn got her hands on the recipe and made 30 Pounds of it for the Senior Class Auction. From that point forward, Fudge became a new confection after word spread to other women’s colleges. Interesting fact – Smith and Wellesley schools then each developed their own recipe for fudge.
Then, in 1887, the first fudge store, Murdick’s Candy Kitchen opened in Mackinac Island, Michigan. Murdick’s was the first store to use marble slabs which gave their fudge a unique taste. To this day, Murdick’s uses the same recipe they used in 1887. They boil all natural ingredients (including cream and sugar) in a copper pot and then pour the mixture on a marble table, where the fudge is shaped and hand sliced into a creamy confection. The whole process takes about 35 minutes.
Guess what?! Ten lucky winners will receive a 1/2 pound of Murdick’s famous chocolate fudge. Simply write why you love fudge and your first memory of eating fudge in the comment area and we will randomly pick the winners. Happy Fudging!